Starting next year, Florida Hospital Volusia-Flagler will offer health insurance plans to residents in both counties.
The plans will come through a partnership with Health First Health Plans of Brevard County, which will manage the operational responsibilities through the hospitals provider network.
“Health care is local, yet providers and patients often face mandates from insurance companies who are not local, said Florida Hospital Volusia-Flagler CEO Daryl Tol. “This initiative will help us keep health care decisions in our community.
The five hospitals in Flagler and Volusia counties are currently working with Health First Health Plans to create the infrastructure for the plans that will be offered.
In response to a changing health care market, the Florida Division of the Adventist Health System — which includes all Florida Hospitals throughout the state — introduced in 2010 an iniative to bring commercial group health insurance known as the Concert Health Plan, according to Lindsay Rew, spokesperson for Florida Hospital Flagler.
The anticipated health insurance plans in Flagler and Volusia counties will act in cooperation with the Concert Health Plan which, hospital officials say, works well with recent legislation.
“The Affordable Care Act continues to add pressure for health care providers to deliver better value,” said Peter Weiss, president of Concert Health Plan.
An estimated 23.3% of Flagler residents are without health insurance, according to Small Area Health Insurance Estimates derived from 2010 Census data.
“Through payment changes,” Weiss continued, “the (Affordable Care Act) is creating incentives for provider systems to manage the entire process of care. This is easier when the provider system is also the insurer and can align the incentives of all parties around the health of the member.”
According to the hospital, its new health insurance option is in its initial planning stages, but is expected to be available January 2014, after the necessary legal and government documentation are completed and a physician network is established.
The exact type of documentation required of the health care provider varies depending on the type of plan — individual, group or Medicare — and the hospital is working to meet the various standards and deadlines required by the Affordable Healthcare Act.
The hospital hasn’t yet formulated the precise plans that will be offered, but said it will work with Health First Health Plans to meet the specific demands of the area.
Health First Health Plans, which was founded in 1996, covers more than 60,000 residents in Brevard and Indian River counties.